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TriaI Court of MaIoIos City, Branch 12, Province of BuIacan
A.M. No. RTJ-04-1879. January 17, 2005

Facts: n a wedding party, SPO4 Eduardo Alonzo, Jun Rances, Zoilo Salamat and Rey Santos were
drinking together at the same table. While waiting to be seated, Pedrito Alonzo was introduced by
SPO4 Alonzo to Rances as his nephew and as the son of ex-Captain Alonzo. SPO4 Alonzo then
introduced him to Salamat. Pedrito and his companions took their seats and started drinking at the
table across SPO4 Alonzo's table. After some time, Pedrito stood up to urinate at the back of the
house. Santos passed a bag to Salamat, and they followed Pedrito. Rances likewise followed them. A
shot rang out. Salamat was seen placing a gun inside the bag as he hurriedly left. The wedding guests
ran after Salamat. They saw him and Rances board a vehicle being driven by Santos. Pedrito's uncle,
Jose Alonzo, sought the help of SPO4 Alonzo to chase the culprits. He refused and even disavowed
any knowledge as to their identity.
Jose Alonzo filed a complaint for murder against Salamat, Rances, Santos, SPO4 Alonzo and a certain
sidro Atienza. A preliminary investigation1 was conducted by the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor
where Jose Alonzo and his four witnesses testified. Upon review of the records of the case by the 3rd
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, it was recommended that Salamat be charged with murder as
principal, and Santos and Rances as accessories. With regard to SPO4 Alonzo and sidro Atienza, the
prosecutor found that no sufficient evidence was adduced to establish their conspiracy with Salamat.
Judge Concepcion of the RTC issued an Order directing the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor to
amend the information, so as to include all the aforenamed persons as accused in this case, all as

ssue: Whether or not the court has authority to review and reverse the resolution of the Office of the
Provincial Prosecutor or to find probable cause against a respondent for the purpose of amending the

Held: The function of a preliminary investigation is to determine whether there is sufficient ground to
engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty
thereof, and should be held for trial. t is through the conduct of a preliminary investigation that the
prosecutor determines the existence of a prima facie case that would warrant the prosecution of a
case. As a rule, courts cannot interfere with the prosecutor's discretion and control of the criminal
prosecution. The reason for placing the criminal prosecution under the direction and control of the fiscal
is to prevent malicious or unfounded prosecution by private persons. However, while prosecuting
officers have the authority to prosecute persons shown to be guilty of a crime they have equally the
legal duty not to prosecute when after an investigation, the evidence adduced is not sufficient to
establish a prima facie case.
n a clash of views between the judge who did not investigate and the prosecutor who did, or between
the fiscal and the offended party or the accused, that of the prosecutor's should normally prevail.

G.R. No. 149472 October 15, 2002
ICkGL SALA2Ak peLlLloner
LCLL CI 1nL nILIINLS respondenL

The Iollowing are the elements oI estaIa under Article 315 paragraph 1 (b) oI the Revised Penal Code: a) that
money, goods or other personal property is received by the oIIender in trust, or on commission, or Ior
administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery oI, or to return the same; b) that
there be misappropriation or conversion oI such money or property by the oIIender; or denial on his part oI such
receipt; c) that such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice oI another; and d) there is
demand made by the oIIended party to the oIIender.

The consummation oI the crime oI estaIa . does not depend on the Iact that a request Ior the return oI the
money is Iirst made and reIused in order that the author oI the crime should comply with the obligation to return
the sum misapplied. The appropriation or conversion oI money received to the prejudice oI the owner thereoI are
the sole essential Iacts which constitute the crime oI estaIa, and thereupon the author thereoI incurs the penalty
imposed by the Penal Code.
Thus, as a general rule, a criminal action is commenced by a complaint or inIormation, both oI which are Iiled in
court. II a complaint is Iiled directly in court, the same must be Iiled by the oIIended party and in case oI an
inIormation, the same must be Iiled by the Iiscal. However, a complaint Iiled with the Iiscal prior to a judicial
action may be Iiled by any person.
Thus, in the case at bar, the complaint was validly Iiled by Skiva despite the
Iinding oI the lower court that petitioner had no obligation to account to Skiva.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED and the appealed judgment oI the court a quo Iinding petitioner
guilty beyond reasonable doubt oI the crime oI EstaIa under Article 315 paragraph 1 (b) oI the Revised Penal
Code is AFFIRMED. Costs against appellant.
G.R. No. 133888 March 1, 2001

Accused was found guilty of raping his 14-yr old daughter, and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of
death. For humanitarian reasons, however, the trial court recommended that the DEATH penalty be

The SC found accused guilty, and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of death. The concurrence of the
two special qualifying circumstances, namely the victim's minority and the relationship between the
victim and the culprit, increases the penalty of rape to one (1) degree, thus resulting in the imposition of
the death penalty. n order to be appreciated as qualifying circumstances, however, these must be
properly pleaded in the indictment. n addition, the qualifying circumstances should be duly proved
during the trial.
The SC held that these requirements were met in this case. The nformation sufficiently alleges that
accused-appellant is the father of the victim, and that the latter was fourteen (14) years old at the time
of commission of the rape. These elements, furthermore, were categorically affirmed by Elizabeth
Nardo, the victim's mother and the most competent witness. Moreover, the victim's birth date and her
relationship to accused-appellant were shown by her Certificate of Baptism. This was presented by her
mother, Elizabeth, in lieu of her Certificate of Live Birth, which was destroyed by fire. The baptismal
certificate, coupled by her mother's testimony, is sufficient to establish victim's age.

G.R. NO. 132546 (2000)
Facts: A was charged with rape. The complaint specifically accused A of rape committed "by means of
force. The information alleged that the carnal intercourse was "against the will or "without the consent
of the victim.
Issue: Whether the complaint prevails in case of variance between the victim's complaint and the
information in crimes against chastity.
HeId: Yes. n case of variance between the victim's complaint and the information in crimes against
chastity, the complaint control. Thus, the failure of the information to state that A raped X "through force
or intimidation is not a fatal omission in this case because the complaint alleged the ultimate fact that
A raped X "by means of force. So, at the outset, A could have readily ascertained that he was being
accused rape committed through force, a charge that sufficiently complies with Article 335.
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